Proposal for a new tool to evaluate drug interaction cases

Ann Pharmacother. 2007 Apr;41(4):674-80. doi: 10.1345/aph.1H423. Epub 2007 Mar 27.


The assessment of causation for a potential drug interaction requires thoughtful consideration of the properties of both the object and precipitant drugs, patient-specific factors, and the possible contribution of other drugs that the patient may be taking. The Naranjo nomogram was designed to evaluate single-drug adverse events, not drug-drug interactions. Several of the questions on the Naranjo nomogram do not apply to potential drug-drug interactions, while others do not specify object or precipitant drug. Nevertheless, it has been inappropriately used to evaluate drug-drug interactions. The Drug Interaction Probability Scale (DIPS) was developed to provide a guide to evaluating drug interaction causation in a specific patient. It is intended to be used to assist practitioners in the assessment of drug interaction-induced adverse outcomes. The DIPS uses a series of questions relating to the potential drug interaction to estimate a probability score. An accurate assessment using the DIPS requires knowledge of the pharmacologic properties of both the object and precipitant drugs. Inadequate knowledge of either the drugs involved or the basic mechanisms of interaction will be a limitation for some users. The DIPS can also serve as a guide in the preparation of articles describing case reports of drug interactions, as well as in the evaluation of published case reports.

MeSH terms

  • Causality*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Interactions*
  • Humans
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Probability
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors